History aficionados who show up in large numbers to the Mainland South Heritage Society's annual tea and display have an extra draw this year.
The Halifax Public Libraries' new Library and Community Archives website is being launched in partnership with the heritage society this weekend.
The Mainland South Heritage Society was the first group to participate in the digital community history project, and members are excited to share the site with the wider world.
"They wanted to document photographs, postcards and these sorts of things from different heritage and historical societies and museums of Nova Scotia and we were the first on board," explained heritage society member Iris Shea.
About 300 photographs were digitized as part of the project, which the society began working on about two years ago with Halifax Public Libraries reference librarian Joanne McCarthy.
Shea said the annual heritage tea seemed like a good place to launch the site. The event attracts many local seniors who provide them with invaluable information, including documents and photos.
"We meet so many great people and they are very willing to share their stories and photographs," Shea said.
"On the day of the tea, we have people there who know their community history so if people want to ask questions they can come along."
While heritage society members have gleaned a great deal of information and documentation from the community over the years, one of the many pieces that stand out in Shea's mind is a photograph of the SS Letitia, which ran aground off Portuguese Cove in 1917.
"Reverend Dentith's son took a photo, he went to Herring Cove on the day the SS Letitia went aground and we have a newer, earlier photo than the archives of Nova Scotia has," she said. "It (the ship) was still sitting there on the rocks, and a few days later down it went. That was a neat find."
This year's heritage display features Elizabeth Sutherland, Spryfield's first school teacher. She started teaching in the community in 1859. Shea said the display zeroes in on Sutherland's family in addition to other early settlers of Spryfield.
The display will be available for public viewing at the Captain William Spry Library for about one month.
What: The Mainland South Heritage Society's 19th annual Heritage Tea and Display
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.
Where: The Captain William Spry Community Centre, 16 Sussex St.
Cost: Free, but donations gratefully accepted
For more information contact Shea, email@example.com .
Mainland South Heritage Society Website: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nsmshs/home.html